Historical Sew Fortnightly: Challenge #4: Embellishment

I must admit, I'm not one to embellish much when it comes to sewing, or even in my own every day fashion for that matter.  I wear the same 3 or 4 pairs of earrings that I've had for years over and over again...I don't wear rings, rarely wear bracelets or necklaces, and even though I like shoes, I am frequently stuck in the same rut, wearing a pair until the fall apart.  When sewing, I absolutely LOVE the designing, drafting, draping aspect of it...I like putting it all together...and I loath finishing touches.  Maybe I prefer the creative engineering part, or maybe I'm just lazy and tire of it before it's done.  But for whatever reason, I am not much of an embellishment type of gal.  

This challenge was hard for me.  Originally I thought I would put some gold braid and decorative (non-functional) buttons down the front of my 1884 Gypsie Jacket. Well, folks...I tried...I truly did.  I set it up on my dress form, pinned the braid on, and stepped back to take a look.  It was just too fussy for me.  It detracted, in my mind, from the structure of the outfit.  I just couldn't bring myself to guild the lily. 

 So, what to do...

The answer...embellish, as simply as possible, something that no one but myself (my husband - and a ladies maid...if I had one) would see...my Kyoto half stays.

Through the Pinterest grapevine, I discovered some embroidery floss samplers made for corsets/stays. I have absolutely NO idea who the person is that owns these samplers, what era they are from, or what part of the world.  If anyone knows the answers to these questions, PLEASE enlighten me.  I am far from an expert in embroidery, and I'm not that good at it either.  So, I picked a design that I think has the embroidery aesthetics of the early 19th century, based upon what I know about contemporary art, fabric design, and interior design.  I hope my knowledge of these things has not led me astray.

Just the Facts:

The Challenge: Embellishments: Embroidered Kyoto Half Stays

Fabric: None

Pattern:  None...looked at embroidery sampler and copied it.

Year: Early 1800's...I hope.

Notions: Needle and Cotton Embroidery Floss

How historically accurate is it? Embroidered stays are historically accurate, but the design...only guessing on that, so...?

Hours to complete: 3 Hours

First worn: Not yet

Total cost: Free - The embroidery floss was a gift from one of my school kid's parent.


ZipZip said…
Dear Jenni,

The flossing is so pretty! Glad you thought of such an interesting embellishment idea, and one that suits you.

Very best,

Cassidy said…
*shakes fist* Naughty Pinners! I believe that sampler is from the Symington's archive, or wherever it was that Cathy Hay (harmanhay on LiveJournal) went to do research on extant corsets. If you look through the tags on her blog you should be able to find it.

Love your version!
Jenni said…
Cassidy - THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I really like to know who my sources are. As soon as I get the chance, I will post the corrections and link. :)
Sarah Jane said…
I love the embroidery!

I know what you mean about not being an embellishing type gal. I have been thinking and thinking about what I possibly could do for this challenge but nothing I have I want to embellish. The closest I could get was a new 1860's coat for Judah embellished with gray stripes across the front but Judah is down with a stomach bug and is not desirous of being draped and fitted. : /

These are really lovely though. I really like the colors you used and the design is fabulous!

greendeva3 said…
Just found your blog from Dreamstress,inspiring! Beautiful work,thank you for sharing!

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